A cooking and baking journal

Time to Enter the Lab - First Kitchen Chemistry Recipe This Week

12/06/09: Chicken a la Polly Kohen over Rice and. . . Guacamole?

Meal details: For the main course I made Chicken a la Polly Kohen which is a dish containing seared-then-baked chicken with chili sauce, pineapples, and raisins. The guacamole was a little side I made for the meal. A very strange addition to the scene, but I needed to make it for my Kitchen Chemistry class.

Defining moments: My first time doing a recipe for Kitchen Chemistry. Yay! In order to make the guacamole I needed avocados, so this was the first time I ever saw or tasted them.

Recipe sources: The chicken recipe was is from Dave Lieberman, the host of the Food Network show: Good Deal with Dave Lieberman. The recipe has such a strange name because Dave named it after his grandmother--Polly Kohen. I chose a recipe from him because I am participating in the Food Network Chef Cooking Challenge that is being hosted by the writer of the I Blame My Mother blog. Learn more about this fun challenge by clicking here. I remember watching Dave's show when it first came out, but I haven't caught it on T.V. lately. Is this show still running? Please leave a comment if you know.

The guacamole recipe came from my Kitchen Chemistry class; here it is:


Avocados (I used two)
Small onion, finely minced
Lemon juice from a lemon
Salt to taste (about 1 tsp. to 1 tbsp.)

Cut open the avocados, remove the pit, scoop out the flesh and mush them up. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Add the minced onions. Add salt to taste. Add 1 teaspoon at a time and taste after mixing well. Serve with tortilla chips. Other things you can add to the guacamole are hot sauce, tomatoes, salsa, and limes instead of lemons.

What I learned: The chicken was pretty straightforward, I didn't pick up anything new along the way. Oh wait, there is one thing. Papa said he would like the chicken breasts to have an internal temperature of 175F and the drumsticks to have 190F.
The guacamole was another story. I gathered a lot of information about avocados and the reasons why their flesh turns brown, how they ripen, their history, and so on. I learned that you should never place a green avocado in the refrigerator, it will never ripen! Avocados should always be placed at room temperature to ripen, and you know they're ripe by the color of the skin (it should be black), and the way the fruit yields to pressure (if it is a bit 'squishy' you know the fruit has reached its ripe 'perfection'). To help prevent the guacamole from turning brown add lemon juice to the mix and cover the surface with plastic wrap. This method worked for me.
Any modifications? Yes. I made some to the chicken recipe; here is what I did. . .

My ingredient list for Chicken a la Polly Kohen x 2; my modifications are in red:
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 (3 to 4-pound) whole chicken, quartered I used 15 drumsticks and 3 breasts instead
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small onion, medium diced
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24-ounces chili sauce I used 36 oz. (three jars) of chili sauce, because we love our sauce
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sherry
  • 1/2 cup water I didn't add water, I thought the sauce was too thin. I'm glad I didn't, because the finished consistency was perfect
  • 16-ounces canned pineapple chunks with half the juice from the can I used a 20 oz. can
And I served the chicken over rice.

I followed the recipe instructions precisely and I have to say that their times matched mine pretty well. And a quick side note: I used two steamer trays for the chicken.

How it tasted? The chicken was remarkably good, wasn't sure what to expect with raisins, chili sauce, and pineapple! But they all worked well together; I very nice surprise. Now I know the reasons for the rave reviews on the Food Network websites.

The guacamole also tasted good. I never thought I would have this staple dip in a millionaire years!

How about a 2nd time? Yes, I would make both dishes again.

The blue plate used above is actually the prop for my blog's header.
love this plate!

Thanks Dave for the awesome recipe!

Guacamole, aka, Yoda dip. ;)

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